Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Laney and Cross Creek's girls impressive in Thursday's summer wins

Thursday began a marathon of summer basketball at Butler as more than 25 boys and girls high school games were played in a 24 hour period. And Monday, the boys were back at Butler for another round of games. I watched and shared live as much of the action as possible from all three days at @AugBball's Facebook and Twitter accounts. This is the first of probably three posts with the full highlights and many thoughts from me about the 10 plus games I watched at Butler the past few days.

*Note: If you don't already follow @AugBball's Facebook/Twitter/Instagram accounts, consider it. Almost everything I do for AugBball is shared live there and may or may not be posted at this blog because if I haven't done an added level of coverage and research I may not repost here just for the sake of reposting.*

I've reported about a couple dozen boys games in the summer schedule's first eight days. And although I've seen fewer girls games, I've certainly seen some impressive play after I added summer league games with Laney, Cross Creek, and Josey to recent Westminster and Georgia Soul (pro) games.

Before focusing on Laney and Cross Creek individually, I'll give my general impression that both basketball programs are obviously doing good things to have the kind of participation from so many dedicated players and the interest from so many supporters they have (Butler was packed for the teams' final games Thursday at 7 and 8 PM). I estimate Laney's summer roster goes 20 deep, and I counted more than three new Cross Creek players who, like their veteran teammates, are highly skilled and play together very well. Successful programs are like magnets for ambitious players, and this is a very good thing.

Laney tops Butler (June 9)





The Laney Lady Wildcats resemble their male peers in that their roster too is stacked with capable guards. Aubrianna Bonner is as good as any player in the area in the open court. She defends, pushes the pace, attacks the basket, finds teammates, rebounds misses, and makes threes... Then she does it all again. Ditto for junior Jhessyka Williams, sophomore Jaiden Hamilton, and senior Jasmine Bartlett. Three of these four leaders were major contributors to Laney's 2014 state title run, and all four played and produced during last season's 25-5 run to the elite eight round. And you'll notice in the video above there are more players whose names I need to learn. I'll be sure to do that Thursday at 8 PM at Butler when I next see the Lady Wildcats in a game against Richmond.

Cross Creek's runs past Josey with strong second half





After a 21-7 run to the second round of last season's state tournament, the Lady Razorbacks return basically everyone, including this foursome of proven producers:

Alana Davis: 22 ppg, 58% fg, 12 rpg, 2 bpg
Nya Daniels: 12 ppg, 5 apg, 5 rpg, 41 threes
KymMya Thomas: 14 ppg, 7 rpg, 42 threes
Valence Avery: 5 ppg, 5 rpg

These players, along with rising sophomore Kianni Westbrook and a few promising players I don't yet know, excelled in the highlights (above) of Thursday's win over Josey. Cross Creek's prospects for improving on an impressive 2015-16 are promising to say the least.

And I like Josey's prospects as well. Coach Juwan Durham's Eagles tallied 19 wins last season, an 8 game improvement over the prior season. Senior Brianna Dubose, #12 in the highlights above, and sophomore Tykedra Rolland (#25) seemed capable of leading Josey even though the Eagles lost much production to graduation.

***My next post(s) here will feature 9 boys games played at Butler Friday and Monday. And I'll be back in the gym Wednesday and Thursday. For updates from those games and to basically never miss anything I do:

Follow @AugBball on social media for live updates from summer league games






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